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Full text of "Catholic principles : a sermon preached at St. Mary's, Asheville, N.C. on the sixth Sunday after Trinity, A.D. 1915"

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Carbolic principles 

'And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones 

—Ezekid XXXVI1& 




A. D. 1915, BY THE 




. v ' - ■■■ ' '■ 

Catholic principles 

"And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones 

—Ezekiel XXXV 11:3 


st. mary's, asheville, n. C. 


A. D. 1915, BY THE 




"In the deep, calm, meditative saintliness of the 
soul of Edward Bouverie Pusey, Doctor of the 
Catholic Church and Confessor, Almighty God set 
the seal and stamp of the purpose and sent also the 
spirit and power of the great movement, which, 
issuing forth from that spring, has roused Chris- 
tendom, revived the Church and revolutionized 
society." — The late William Croswell Doane, Bishop 
of Albany. 

"Let us remember that it is of the essence of all 
acceptable worship (for God will only be worshipped 
in spirit and in truth) that it should rightly express 
the Catholic Faith." — Pastoral Letter of the House 
of Bishops, A.D. 1895. 


Catholic {principles 

We have just been celebrating our first birthday 
as a Parish. A year ago last Sunday we made a 
beginning as a congregation, in our first Corporate 
Communion. I wonder if many thought of a cer- 
tain resemblance between the birth of the Pente- 
costal Church in Jerusalem in an upper room, and 
that first service, in the hired room in the Manor 
Club House? They were both small beginnings. 
The grain of mustard seed became a mighty tree, 
the leaves of which are for the healing of the na- 
tions. A year ago this little parish had just been 
born; today it is but a little one. Two of our num- 
ber have already gone to form a St. Mary's con- 
gregation in the Land of Green Pastures, and we 
trust already listen to the song of Moses and the 
Lamb. Yet again today we gather in this beautiful 
little House of God to give thanks for God's great 
goodness to us, and to offer up our sacrifice of praise 
and thanksgiving. We think how wonderful it has 
all been; how much has been accomplished already; 
how much more there is yet to do. And we hear the 
voice of God speaking to us, saying, " Speak unto 
the children of Israel that they go forward." 

Happy indeed are you, great indeed is your 
privilege, large your opportunity. You are living in 
the days of the Renaissance of our beloved Church. 
Let us spend our time this morning in retrospect. 

In Colonial days the Church in England was in 
a very low spiritual condition. In New England 
she had to maintain her place against the fierce 
prejudices of the Puritans. She was thereby forced, 
as we need to be forced in this Southland, to take 
a fuller grasp of Church principles and Church life. 
On the contrary in Virginia, where nearly every- 
body was " conservative," the Virginians held on to 
the Church as they had received it. Until after the 
Revolution the Church in the American colonies 
was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, 

who never visited them. The clergy of Connecticut, 
New Jersey and New York especially desired the 
Episcopate as essential to the preservation of the 
Church. But this was not secured without meeting 
violent opposition and attack, not only by sec- 
tarians, but even by those in the Church who 
opposed the idea of Episcopal rule. 

From the days of Constantine, Church and 
State had been united. But the American Church 
was to be free, and her Bishops not appointed by 
the State, but elected by the clergy and laity in 
synod assembled. We have indeed a vestige of the 
old way surviving in our present provision for the 
election of Missionary Bishops by the House of 
Bishops. That is one reason why we are anxious to 
see all our Missionary Districts become dioceses. 
In a diocese, (a "Missionary District" is an ano- 
maly), the rights of Bishop and clergy and laity are 
afforded equal recognition. A Bishop is a con- 
stitutional officer, not an autocrat, he is not vested 
with the authority of a Pope, and any attempt on 
his part to assume unconstitutional prerogatives 
should be vigorously resisted. The Standing Com- 
mittee elected by the convention or synod of a 
diocese, forms the balance wheel of diocesan organ- 
ization. In a Missionary District, as someone said 
in our recent Convention, "the Bishop is an auto- 
crat." He can veto or ignore the action of both his 
Council of Advice and Synod, if he so chooses. Yet 
few Bishops could have the temerity to ignore the 
wishes of their Synod duly expressed. 

The Episcopate for America was at length ob- 
tained by the consecration of Dr. Samuel Seabury, 
by the Scottish Bishops, on November 14, 1784, at 
Aberdeen, Scotland. 

Our first American Prayer Book had several 
blemishes. Bishop Seabury said that he left it to 
men of another generation who were to come after 
him, to restore the losses in the Offices. Some of 
these blemishes have been done away. To Dr. 
Seabury we owe the liturgical beauty of the Prayer 

of Consecration or Canon, in the Communion 
Office; it will ever be a monument to his wisdom 
and piety. 

The great Revival of the Nineteenth Century, 
begun at Oxford in 1833, when John Keble preached 
his famous Assize Sermon, began quite inde- 
pendently here in America. The second Dr. Samuel 
Seabury, John Henry Hobart, Milo Mahan and 
others laid the foundations of the Oxford (later 
called the Catholic) Movement, or so-called Re- 
naissance, in America. Here, as in England, that 
Movement met with fierce opposition. The Evan- 
gelical, or Low Church Party, had lost much of its 
early fervor: (in 1890, Professor Cady of the Gen- 
eral Theological Seminary told me it was dead). 
The theological system that taught that grace was 
given through the sacraments was taken to be in 
opposition to the Evangelical doctrine, that man 
was justified by faith, or simply trust, in the merits 
of Christ. Perhaps rightly understood these two 
ideas were not really contradictory, but supple- 
mentary of each other. Christianity has, what we 
call, its objective and its subjective side. Sacra- 
ments are means through which Christ acts and 
bestows his gifts. Faith and repentance are the 
subjective and necessary conditions for their profit- 
able reception. The controversy in England and 
America, for a time, waxed fierce and warm. The 
contest raged about the doctrine of Apostolical 
Succession and the Remission of sins in Baptism. 
We have to thank God that in our American 
Prayer Book it is declared that God has "promised 
to be with the Ministers of Apostolic Succession to 
the end of the world." Study the various parts of 
your Prayer Book. So, too, in our Baptismal Office 
the Doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration is clearly 
affirmed. The sixth chapter of St. John, fairly 
interpreted, gives us the Scriptural authority for 
the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the 
Holy Eucharist: and the New Birth from above was 

ever associated, in Holy Scripture, with the one act 
of water and the Spirit. 

There was connected with these teachings an 
improvement in the arrangement of our churches 
and some ceremonial details, in the way of restora- 
tion. As a little boy, my first recollections of a 
church are of sitting at my mother's feet on a com- 
fortable hassock in an old fashioned box pew, with 
much higher sides than those in old St. Michael's, 
Charleston. In front of me towered the ancient 
"three-decker" pulpit. At the lowest desk sat the 
clerk, who bawled out the responses; at the second 
story stood the Priest, in surplice and black stole 
(I was told that this was a relic of the time when 
the English went into mourning for the death of 
Charles I!) A little later, after retiring for a space 
to the Vestry, the preacher emerged clothed in a 
black Geneva gown and bands, and sometimes wear- 
ing lavendar or black gloves, ascended to the third 
level of the "three-decker" to deliver his ponderous 
discourse. It is difficult to believe that when this 
order began to change, it caused in England what 
were known as the Surplice riots, and brought 
forth Episcopal fulminations. The Altar or Holy 
Table, in many places, was a four-legged library 
table, often used as a repository for nondescript 
articles, which stood immediately in front of the 

The Southern dioceses, where the Colonial 
Church had been strongest, suffered most severely 
from the Revolution. Their lands were taken 
away, their churches destroyed; communion plate 
disappeared, and fonts were used for watering 
troughs. Is it any wonder that the idea of worship 
was nearly lost? 

And in Massachusetts strange things happened. 
Bishop Eastburn declined to visit the Church of the 
Advent because there was a cross on the wall over 
the altar, flowers were at times placed on the altar, 
and the prayers were said choir-wise. On one 


occasion when the Priest, Dr. Edson, began to say 
the prayers in that position, in the presence of the 
Bishop, that prelate actually rose from his knees, 
and going to him took him by the shoulders and 
forced him to turn about with his face to the people ! 
Bishop Mcllvaine of Ohio forbade any altar with a 
solid or closed front. Bishop Whittle of Virginia 
would not allow flowers on the Holy Table; and 
many another Bishop, by many arbitrary and 
unconstitutional acts, made life miserable for one or 
more of his clergy. Indeed such inconceivable nar- 
rowness is not yet entirely a memory of distant 
days. But Bishop Horatio Potter of New York 
once said, that one might as well try to sweep back 
the ocean with a broom, as to stop the advance of 
the great Movement for which St. Mary's, its priest, 
its vestry, its congregation stands. 

In 1844, the General Convention was stirred up 
to take action and to endeavor to deal with the 
Tractarian Movement. But as another Bishop has 
said, you could as little check its onward career by 
resolution as you could by addressing a series of 
them to an advancing locomotive, stop its progress. 
In spite of the unfortunate defection of Newman in 
Europe, and of Bishop Ives in 1852, in North Caro- 
lina, the Movement kept on spreading like oil upon 
the waters. 

Early in the fifties, Bishop Eastburn of Massa- 
chusetts, presented Father Prescott, an assistant at 
the Church of the Advent for trial. It was proved 
that Father Prescott had offered to hear confessions 
privately and to give Absolution, and that in a ser- 
mon he had spoken of the Blessed Virgin as "the 
Sinless Mother of a Sinless Child." After some 
years a conclusion was reached that this phrase did 
not necessarily involve erroneous doctrine. But — 
remember this was over fifty years ago — it was 
adjudged that Father Prescott must agree that he 
would not preach Confession, and that until he so 
agreed he should be suspended from the Ministry! 

Today such a finding would be impossible. The 
trial instead of putting an end to such teaching, 
served like the wind of God, to fan the new impulse 
given to Catholic doctrine and principles into a 
flame. Bishop Whittingham of Maryland invited V^ 
Father Prescott into his diocese and said that what 
a Bishop could do, a Bishop could undo, and he 
released Father Prescott from any obligations to 
obey the decision of the Court in his diocese. 

In England a contest arose over the doctrine of 
the Real Presence. The Rev. W. J. E. Bennett 
taught that in the Sacrament there was an actual 
presence of the true Body and Blood of the Lord. 
It was there by virtue of the consecration, and 
extended to the communicant, and separately from 
the act of reception. He held that the Communion 
Table was also an Altar of Sacrifice, and that 
Adoration was due to our Lord in the Sacrament, 
on the ground that under the veil of bread and wine 
our Lord was really present. The English Privy 
Council declared this not to be contrary to the 
Church's allowed teaching. The sainted John 
Keble's book on " Eucharistical Adoration" is an 
English classic. 

The same doctrine was taught in America. Dr. 
Samuel F. Jarvis of Connecticut, in a note to a 
famous sermon preached in 1836, before the Board 
of Missions, used these words: "We have no right 
to banish from our Communion those whose notions 
of the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament rise 
to a mysterious change by which the very elements 
themselves, though they retain their original prop- 
erties, are corporeally united with, or transformed 
into, Christ." 

Bishop Whittingham taught that "one ought to) \/ 

/ go to the death for the doctrine of the Real Presy VN' 

^ ence." 

J Later a controversy arose between Dr. Craik of \ i 

f Kentucky and Dr. James deKoven of Racine, who 
maintained the fact of the Real Presence, but would J 

• •■••/♦> i wf'l \ , ^ cJC+^l*/ 

not define the mode. It was thought by many that 
Dr. deKoven gained the victory in the controversy; 
and although later he was denied a Bishopric, in 
1874 he again defended this vital doctrine in the 
face of the General Convention, and won forever the 
right of our clergy to teach it unflinchingly. 

The Prayer Book really teaches the doctrines of 
the Catholic Faith. The old time low churchman 
and the modern broad churchman alike have tried 
to get rid of them, and to change the Prayer book 
so as to eliminate its Catholic character. Seeking 
fatuity, Dr. Cummins and others left the Church 
in 1874, to found the "Reformed Episcopal Church," 
which is now dying a natural death. 

The renewed teachings of the doctrines of the 
Church resulted, naturally, in a development of 
ceremonial in the public services. The science of 
Ritual came to be more generally studied and its 
principles carried out in practice. The unfortunate 
relation of Church and State in England made many 
of the clergy amenable to the Civil Law, and many 
a priest was not only deprived of his benefice, but 
was sent to jail. Archdeacon Denison of Taunton 
was condemned in 1856, after a trial lasting three 
months. The Rev. Arthur Tooth of St. James, 
Hatcham, the Rev. R. W. Enraght of Bordesley, 
the Rev. Sidney Fairthorne Green of St. John's, 
Miles Platting, and the Rev. James Bell-Cox, Vicar 
of St. Margaret's, Liverpool, were all imprisoned. 
These cruel acts taught the English nation and the 
English Church a lesson, "sacrifice alone is fruit- 
ful." The so-called Ritualistic Movement has 
made steady progress. Opposition has been a 
fructifying force. A canon passed by our Church 
essaying to prevent certain ritual acts, was not 
worth the paper it was written on, and only a few 
years ago, in 1903, was expunged from our Code as 
futile and unconstitutional. It was unconstitutional 
because the Church's Prayer Book and the Church's 
worship cannot be regulated by Canon. Neither 


u years 
le Holy 
of holi- sf 

can these things be regulated by Pastoral Letters, 
which can never have the force of liturgical enact- 

We think of the Church as it was 80-50-30 years 
ago. We think of the old days when our churches 
were closed from Sunday to Sunday, when the Holy 
Communion was celebrated every three months 
when Holy Days passed year after year unobserved 
and when there was nothing of the beauty of holi 
ness to be seen, and we hear the words of the 
Prophet, "can these dry bones live?" 

And then we look at the Church today, at the 
wonderful revival of the missionary spirit, at our 
open churches, at the unconscious leveling of nearly 
all public services with an increase of liturgical, 
ceremonial, ritualistic development of decent order, 
and we find our answer. We look about us and we 
praise God for the revival of the Religious Life in 
our Church, for the Orders of men and women who 
are living a dedicated life in convents, and com- 
munity houses. We picture the churches we at- 
tended in our childhood and then right here in 
Asheville we find ourselves in a chapel like St. 
Mary's, and participating in a service, modest and 
unfinished as it is, and yet, such as it is, one that 
three years ago would have been thought an im- 
possibility, and we say, Thanks be to God! 

And all this — what is it for? That we may 
better sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. That 
we may in all things give God the glory. That we 
may be better men and better women, loving, hos- 
pitable, kind, courteous, compassionate, forgiving, 
without malice or hatred in our hearts; generous — 
yes, lavish in our generosity, for what can we give 
to Him who has given us so much? This is our ideal 
for St. Mary's — a congregation of God's people. 
A church with open doors and free seats for all; a 
church of zealous worshippers, of charitable and 
serviceable men and women; one that takes care of 
its children and never neglects its poor — any poor 

rman; whose people shall be much more occupied in J 
looking out for their own souls than in attacking the _/ 
faith of their neighbors. A church which shall com- 
" bine in its mode of worship two qualities — taste and 
refinement which the educated require, just as much 
in their churches as elsewhere, and the air of state- 
liness, almost of pomp, which shall impress the com- 
mon worshiper, and is not without its effect even 
upon those who think they hold outward form as 
of little value. 

Our work has only just begun. Pray for holy 
wisdom. Pray for patience. Pray for zeal. Pray 
for the spirit of sacrifice. If we are true to Cath- 
olic principles we have nothing to fear. If we are 
hedged with thorns, it is that we may better find 
and better love the Divine Lover of souls. And if 
days of trial come upon us, and the Church has yet 
to pass through affliction, let us remember the 
glorious words; "I will allure her and bring her into 
the wilderness and will speak comfortably to her. 
I will give her vineyards from thence, and a valley 
of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall sing there 
as in the days of her youth." Sing what? The 
glorious love song of the Bridegroom and the Bride : 
God will say — "My people" and we shall say "My 

"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall 
prosper that love thee!" 


INLAND 37765 


Syracuse, N. Y. 

MT. JAN 21, 1M8 




Form No. A-368, Rev. 8/95